La Bistro Horsforth review: Hearty home-cooked comforts with a warm welcome
Hearty comfort can be found as the dark nights draw in at one of Horsforth's most welcoming Mediterranean kitchens.
La Bistro, on Long Row, has come to be known for its relaxed atmosphere and homely feel in the time since it launched seven years ago.
Here, there's no ritz or razzmatazz, just good food, deliciously done. And lots of it, with an extensive menu that covers staples from across Europe to the Middle East and beyond.
On an evening with friends, it's an easy choice, and one that doesn't disappoint.
The bistro is small, though this only adds to the atmosphere, and on weekends is absolutely buzzing. Understandably, it can be difficult to get a table at short notice, though the family owners have opened up its patio area for outdoor dining which is also proving popular.
We ended up visiting mid-week, though this was much quieter, and happily coincided with an early-bird deal for two courses at a very reasonable £16.95. Though dubbed 'early-bird', it's available anytime midweek, or before 5.30pm on Friday and Saturday nights.
First niggling qualm came with the menu - it's not easy for a small restaurant kitchen to be good at so many dishes, and there's Italian and Greek classics alongside Turkish meze.
We needn't have worried. What La Bistro is good at is food - as evidenced by those that keep coming back. It's moreish, with vast servings that leave us unable to quite clear our plates.
For starters, we went for grilled halloumi, lightly charred, and served with a great chunk of homemade bread with fresh tzatziki. The moules marinieres though, was where it was at.
Fresh steamed mussels, served in the most amazing white wine sauce with garlic and herbs - fish sauce with a little kick that left us wanting more. It was fabulous.
Perfect for sharing
Pan fried chicken breast served with asparagus and leek, in a rich Italian champagne sauce, was creamy and thick, perfectly tender and served with a huge helping of chunky chips.
The Mediterranean casserole, perhaps, is what best sums up this menu. Hearty and filling, deliciously spiced, and served with vast side plates of crispy fresh tortilla, mozzarella, tzatziki and salad, perfect for sharing.
'When you're here, you're family', the restaurant's slogan says, with an appeal that speaks of casual welcome. It's easy to see why, in such deliciously warming home-cooked comforts.
Address: La Bistro Mediterranean Kitchen, Long Row, Horsforth, LS18 5AT
Telephone: 0113 345 0110
Opening hours: Mon-Thurs, noon to 10pm, Fri-Sat, 9am to 11pm, Sun, 9am to 10pm.